This is it! In less than twenty-four hours I will be on my way to Israel. Two days ago the fact that I am actually leaving finally hit me and I have kind of been freaking out since then.
It seems that everyone I know from school and home has gone abroad on a real program with their friends, and as independent as I may consider myself, I am very nervous about a few aspects of the beginning of my trip.
Firstly, I am not on a study abroad program in the sense that it is not run through an American school or a provider—even though the program is through the Rothberg International School and we have four madrichim (counselors or RAs) living in the dorms with us. On a similar note, because I have chosen Israel, the details about the schedule of the first few days barely exist and are apparently not important.
Secondly, I am anxious about not knowing anyone at all and having to start from new in terms of friends. I’m just going to have to trust that being myself (or a more normal version) will be enough to win over my fellow Judaism-obsessed juniors.
In addition, I have a packed schedule after I land in Tel Aviv on Wednesday morning at 09:30—after we get to campus I have to meet Danna (Yoram’s niece) because she is giving me my Israeli SIM card and some shekels, I must take another Hebrew placement exam (for which I am actually grateful because I have learned/remembered more Hebrew since I took the exam last May), there is a walking tour of the Mount Scopus campus, I have to “financially register,” there is a general orientation that will cover aspects of the program from academics to security, and finally there is a shopping trip to a large (and expensive) mall in Jerusalem in order to get any products I may need. If that isn’t enough, Ulpan starts the next morning (22-1-15) around 08:30.
I’ll be sure to keep the blog updated after I arrive in Israel. In the meantime, I’m going to try to enjoy my last few hours in the States with my family.